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Old 12-31-2018, 01:02 AM
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i think zimmern has a point about modren chinese resturants


heres the controversy https://www.msn.com/en-us/tv/news/bi...eoU?li=BBnb2gh


But I think he's right ...the fast food mentality has taken over and 90 percent of the Chinese restaurants that's opened in the past 10-15 years are horseshit...Ö

I don't know what the recent region of Chinese are running the restaurants these days but when a new restaurant is no different than the mall food court something needs to change
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:23 AM
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I only know what it says in the link you posted, but the link you posted seems to make it relatively clear that the issue is not that the Midwest has good Chinese food, it's that:

1) Zimmern is not Chinese.
2) From a culinary standpoint, there is no such thing as China. The country is highly diverse in its cuisine, including both a large number of different cuisines developed by the Han people, and also the cuisines of other cultures like Tibetan, Uighur, etc.
3) While I'm not an expert on China, I did live in Japan for quite some time and there, there are a large variety of sub-cuisines. A shabu shabu restaurant is a completely different place from an okonomiyaki restaurant, a sushi restaurant, a ramen shop, etc. When I see a "Japanese" restaurant in the US and they're putting wildly different types of Japanese cuisine together into the same menu, I know that I can't expect much since they aren't properly doing any one thing. I would expect that China is much the same and that even if you chose a single regional cuisine, that you will still end up with a restaurant that's a meaningless mishmash of poor implementations of different types of food.
4) The Chinese have a tendency to eat everything under the sun. Americans eat beef, chicken, pork, onions, corn, carrots, potatoes, wheat, and a smattering of a few other things. Midwesterners are not going to eat a meal of sea cucumber, sparrow spit, roasted scorpion, etc. so even if you could source all of the weird exotic vegetables and spices from China that a midwesterner might be willing to put in their mouth once, you're really only looking at the recipes that are made with pork or which are vegetarian, if you want to sell anything in the US. It's fundamentally impossible to sell non-Americanized Chinese food to Americans on the simple basis that there's simply too drastic a difference between the cuisines. Anyone wanting to sell "Chinese" food in America will produce radically inauthentic "Chinese" food. It's the only way to make a buck. An actual Chinese restaurant would only work in New York and LA, and would have a very small audience of people who are willing to stick anything in their mouth, and who are willing to pay the cost of sourcing exotic ingredients.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 12-31-2018 at 02:25 AM.
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:50 AM
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I think the 4th point Sage Rat makes is really relevant. When most Chinese restaurants opened the majority of Americans weren't comfortable eating things they weren't at least passingly familiar with, so to stay in business you had to cater to American tastes and basically take just about everything Chinese out of the dishes. Now Americans are giving them shit for serving the dumbed down food they demanded.
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Old 12-31-2018, 06:40 AM
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I long for the day when a public figure can voice an opinion without having to apologize for it 24 hours later.


mmm
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Old 12-31-2018, 06:47 AM
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I long for the day when a public figure can voice an opinion without having to apologize for it 24 hours later.


mmm
This.
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Old 12-31-2018, 07:00 AM
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The fact that he may be correct doesn't make his comments not insulting. The fact that Andrew Zimmern is a white man opening a (actually not an "authentic") Chinese restaurant is not insulting.

What IS insulting is Andrew Zimmern criticizing and diminishing the work of people who, unlike himself, do NOT have the luxury of deciding the level of "authenticity" of their restaurants. They are not in position of privilege where they get to make that decision; their businesses are their survival, and the survival of their families, and they produce the food that their customers will buy, period. It's not a pet project, it's their life. There's a reason Chinese takeout joints also sell wings, onion rings, sandwiches and subs, and I promise you it ain't because the proprietors' dream is to one day open a delicatessen. They're in the restaurant game to earn a living any way they can, and the fact that Andrew Zimmern is going to talk shit about what they do, even if he is 100% correct, is massively insulting.
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Old 12-31-2018, 07:59 AM
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We made a mistake a few years back eating at a Chinese restaurant in North Platte, Nebraska. The meat was inedible! In Nebraska of all places.

If you can't do "adequate" why bother even trying?
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Old 12-31-2018, 08:06 AM
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What IS insulting is Andrew Zimmern criticizing and diminishing the work of people who, unlike himself, do NOT have the luxury of deciding the level of "authenticity" of their restaurants. They are not in position of privilege where they get to make that decision; their businesses are their survival, and the survival of their families, and they produce the food that their customers will buy, period. It's not a pet project, it's their life. There's a reason Chinese takeout joints also sell wings, onion rings, sandwiches and subs, and I promise you it ain't because the proprietors' dream is to one day open a delicatessen. They're in the restaurant game to earn a living any way they can, and the fact that Andrew Zimmern is going to talk shit about what they do, even if he is 100% correct, is massively insulting.
Whether you're putting your all into it or not, living from day to day or not, if you run a Chinese restaurant and you are selling onion rings, I suspect that you would fairly agree that as far as authenticity goes, your place is horseshit. Someone with a restaurant like that has no delusion that their place is a little slice of Shanghai brought to Smallville. Nor are they going to begrudge another restaurateur from making his pitch to get his restaurant to be successful (so long as he doesn't start up a place across the street from yours).

Last edited by Sage Rat; 12-31-2018 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 12-31-2018, 08:25 AM
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It's really a matter of the classic 'punching down' issue again. A person in a position of power slamming people who are not just looks bad and almost guarantees some sort of blow back.

Sure, Zimmern may want to promote his new thing - which I'm willing to bet is only marginally more 'Chinese' - but it's possible to do that without being a dick to other people. Classic 'Don't be a jerk' pushback. I don't feel for him at all.
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Old 12-31-2018, 08:42 AM
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Whether you're putting your all into it or not, living from day to day or not, if you run a Chinese restaurant and you are selling onion rings, I suspect that you would fairly agree that as far as authenticity goes, your place is horseshit. Someone with a restaurant like that has no delusion that their place is a little slice of Shanghai brought to Smallville. Nor are they going to begrudge another restaurateur from making his pitch to get his restaurant to be successful (so long as he doesn't start up a place across the street from yours).
It's one thing to know that, in your words, "your place is horseshit."

It's entirely another thing for a rich white guy to show up and not only tell you what you sell is shit, but that they're going to go and do it "better."

No, these people don't give a shit if Andrew Zimmern opens a restaurant. They are fully aware that he's not their competition. However, it's like Amazon coming to town and talking shit about the public library; there's no reason for it. Andrew Zimmern doesn't need any excuse to open any kind of restaurant he wants, but for whatever reason he felt like he needed to justify opening an Asian-fusion restaurant by denigrating poor immigrant families who are just trying to get by.

I don't believe Zimmern's comments were made maliciously, he seems like a genuinely decent man, but they were tone-deaf, at best.
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Old 12-31-2018, 09:15 AM
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My brother spent a little over a year living in China. According to him, what we think of as "Chinese Restaurants" are not what exist in China as "Restaurants".
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Old 12-31-2018, 09:24 AM
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OK, so Chinese restaurants that sell onion rings aren't "authentic".

So what? Why is authenticity a big deal? When I eat out, I don't care if the food is authentic; I care if it's good. And really, the impetus behind most "authentic cuisine" is "How can we make something that's at least barely palatable from these super-cheap ingredients that are all we can afford?". Making "ethnic cuisine" that's too authentic will result in barely-palatable food.
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Old 12-31-2018, 09:46 AM
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My brother spent a little over a year living in China. According to him, what we think of as "Chinese Restaurants" are not what exist in China as "Restaurants".
I lived there two years and this is only somewhat correct.

China is obviously as diverse as any nation in the world and their food is:

1. Insanely diverse. Like, many hundreds of thousands of things. Most of which we do not have here. Many oils used in cooking and methods are just not done or available here.

2. Insanely good if you know what you are looking for. If you make Chinese friends and tell them to get you "the real stuff", you can get some incredible food. It has been 15 years and I still think about my meal at a Hunan restaurant there and also about my meals at Quanjude(Beijing duck fit for royalty).

My comparison of China restaurants to American-Chinese:

1. You share everything there and I love that. Why order separate dishes when you can all share everything?

2. 90% or more of the food has been deemed not appreciated by Americans and is not served here. Much higher, since seafood is an absolute must in China and it is not a major feature of Amerian-Chinese restaurants.

3. There are, however, many things that we have here that you can get there. Sweet and Sour is identical(it made the trip over the ocean for some reason). Many chicken dishes do exist there and here. Most beef things here are pork there, though. I hardly ever had beef in a regular restaurant there.

My wife and I talk about the people there a lot. It would be dishonest of me not to admit that we talk about our favorite restaurants almost more. We went out to eat there often and the food in a "hole in the wall" was incredible.

Zimmern is right that a lot of Chinese restaurants in the US-midwest are bad, but there are some quality ones, too.
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Old 12-31-2018, 09:46 AM
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OK, so Chinese restaurants that sell onion rings aren't "authentic".

So what? Why is authenticity a big deal?
amen to this. unless the restaurant makes a stated claim to authenticity, who gives a crap?

taco bell isn't mexican food, either, but people still seem to like it. it's its own thing, just like "american chinese food" has become it's own thing.
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Old 12-31-2018, 09:50 AM
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I don't know what the recent region of Chinese are running the restaurants these days...
What does this mean?
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Old 12-31-2018, 09:53 AM
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...[/B] There's a reason Chinese takeout joints also sell wings, onion rings, sandwiches and subs, and I promise you it ain't because the proprietors' dream is to one day open a delicatessen. They're in the restaurant game to earn a living any way they can, and the fact that Andrew Zimmern is going to talk shit about what they do, even if he is 100% correct, is massively insulting.
I agree with your sentiments but just want to mention that of the many Asian restaurants I have been in I have never seen sandwiches, subs or onion rings. Wings are another story, they are a part of many Asian cuisines just like chicken feet.

Dennis
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Old 12-31-2018, 10:53 AM
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A celebrity chef making a disparaging comment on the state of the food industry is just so so wrong! What gives him the right? Think of the poor immigrants making crappy food!

Last edited by CarnalK; 12-31-2018 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 12-31-2018, 11:30 AM
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2. Insanely good if you know what you are looking for. If you make Chinese friends and tell them to get you "the real stuff", you can get some incredible food. It has been 15 years and I still think about my meal at a Hunan restaurant there and also about my meals at Quanjude(Beijing duck fit for royalty).
The restaurant we used to eat in San Jose had lots of Chinese families eating there and what amounted to two menus. In the front it was English with mostly Cantonese dishes* and in the back it was straight, untranslated, traditional Chinese. When we were feeling adventuresome we'd tell the waitress/daughter, "Bring us something good not more than $10." (this was a long time ago)

We'd not ask what it was until we'd eaten it and, while some we did not care for, I can't say we got anything really disgusting/bad. They still might have catering somewhat to our round-eye palates but at least it wasn't egg fu yung for the umpteenth time.

*This was unusual because SJ mainly had Hunan restaurants; for Cantonese, go to San Francisco.

Last edited by DesertDog; 12-31-2018 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 12-31-2018, 12:03 PM
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Whether you're putting your all into it or not, living from day to day or not, if you run a Chinese restaurant and you are selling onion rings, I suspect that you would fairly agree that as far as authenticity goes, your place is horseshit.
I would absolutely not say that. The Chinese food may very well be "authentic" and the place just serves other food to cater to other tastes. This is fairly common in my experience. I would never make a judgment based on on ethnic authenticity because the menu included hamburgers, onion rings, and chicken strips on the menu. One of my good friends ran a critically acclaimed Yucatecan restaurant here in the Chicago area and had to add some American foods and also other styles of Mexican food to the menu to appease other tastes. There was nothing at all inauthentic about his Yucatecan menu.

But this "authenticity" talk is a little bit of horseshit in and of itself. I mean, yes, I do like exploring food as it is presented in the native country (so what one may call "authentic") but it's not the most important thing and, if we always stuck to "authenticity" we'd never have cuisines evolve.

I actually came across this video (starts at 3:27) a few days ago with a young Chinese restaurant proprietor (from Xi'an Famous Foods in NYC) seques into talking about "authenticity" that I found very interesting. And, yes, he talks about serving French fries and chicken wings, too.

Last edited by pulykamell; 12-31-2018 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 12-31-2018, 12:46 PM
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I long for the day when a public figure can voice an opinion without having to apologize for it 24 hours later.





mmm
Yup.
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Old 12-31-2018, 01:15 PM
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Eh, it works both ways. Those of us who travel have experienced perfectly dreadful "authentic" American, British, Mexican etc. food in other countries. (There are some good examples too, and I have had, for example, both good and bad Mexican food in Thailand.)

If you took a bunch of the glop Thais eat and served it in a restaurant in the US, the restaurant would go out of business before the month was out.

Thailand also has a fairly popular dish called "American fried rice." It was invented during the Vietnam War by a Thai cook serving the US base in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand. Fried rice with little Vienna sausages and an egg and other stuff thrown in, apparently trying to make the servicemen feel more at home. But that origin has largely been forgotten, and just about all Thais think Americans really do eat that regularly. It's actually not bad.
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Old 12-31-2018, 01:25 PM
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I only know what it says in the link you posted, but the link you posted seems to make it relatively clear that the issue is not that the Midwest has good Chinese food, it's that:

1) Zimmern is not Chinese.
2) From a culinary standpoint, there is no such thing as China. The country is highly diverse in its cuisine, including both a large number of different cuisines developed by the Han people, and also the cuisines of other cultures like Tibetan, Uighur, etc.
3) While I'm not an expert on China, I did live in Japan for quite some time and there, there are a large variety of sub-cuisines. A shabu shabu restaurant is a completely different place from an okonomiyaki restaurant, a sushi restaurant, a ramen shop, etc. When I see a "Japanese" restaurant in the US and they're putting wildly different types of Japanese cuisine together into the same menu, I know that I can't expect much since they aren't properly doing any one thing. I would expect that China is much the same and that even if you chose a single regional cuisine, that you will still end up with a restaurant that's a meaningless mishmash of poor implementations of different types of food.
4) The Chinese have a tendency to eat everything under the sun. Americans eat beef, chicken, pork, onions, corn, carrots, potatoes, wheat, and a smattering of a few other things. Midwesterners are not going to eat a meal of sea cucumber, sparrow spit, roasted scorpion, etc. so even if you could source all of the weird exotic vegetables and spices from China that a midwesterner might be willing to put in their mouth once, you're really only looking at the recipes that are made with pork or which are vegetarian, if you want to sell anything in the US. It's fundamentally impossible to sell non-Americanized Chinese food to Americans on the simple basis that there's simply too drastic a difference between the cuisines. Anyone wanting to sell "Chinese" food in America will produce radically inauthentic "Chinese" food. It's the only way to make a buck. An actual Chinese restaurant would only work in New York and LA, and would have a very small audience of people who are willing to stick anything in their mouth, and who are willing to pay the cost of sourcing exotic ingredients.
5)"Chile" is the name of a country in South America. There is a category of spices/capsacin-laden fruits known as "chilis."

And duck has so much grease in it that it should be considered an energy source, rather than a food.

Last edited by kaylasdad99; 12-31-2018 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 12-31-2018, 01:27 PM
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5)"Chile" is the name of a country in South America. There is a category of spices/capsacin-laden fruits known as "chilis."

And duck has so much grease in it that it should be considered an energy source, rather than a food.
Chili peppers are often spelled "chiles." It's my preferred spelling, for instance. I personally use "chili" for the Tex-Mex dish, and "chile" for the hot peppers. (And there is also the spelling "chilli" with two els.)

And sometimes the spelling can make a difference, as in chile powder vs chili powder. It's not a universally accepted distinction, in my experience, so I use "chili powder" for the mix of spices used to flavor Tex-Mex chili, and "powdered chiles" for the pure red pepper powder.

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Old 12-31-2018, 01:33 PM
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I agree with your sentiments but just want to mention that of the many Asian restaurants I have been in I have never seen sandwiches, subs or onion rings. Wings are another story, they are a part of many Asian cuisines just like chicken feet.

Dennis
Vietnam is in Asia. You're obviously not from the OC.
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Old 12-31-2018, 01:34 PM
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5)"Chile" is the name of a country in South America. There is a category of spices/capsacin-laden fruits known as "chilis."
I'm not sure what that has to do with the topic, or my post...
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Old 12-31-2018, 01:35 PM
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Vietnam is in Asia. You're obviously not from the OC.
Not only that, but perhaps the best submarine-style sandwiches in the bahn mi!
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Old 12-31-2018, 01:43 PM
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Chili peppers are often spelled "chiles." It's my preferred spelling, for instance. I personally use "chili" for the Tex-Mex dish, and "chile" for the hot peppers. (And there is also the spelling "chilli" with two els.)

And sometimes the spelling can make a difference, as in chile powder vs chili powder. It's not a universally accepted distinction, in my experience, so I use "chili powder" for the mix of spices used to flavor Tex-Mex chili, and "powdered chiles" for the pure red pepper powder.
I often find myself reading things aloud to my wife. If I come across a word that will be pronounced "chee-lay," I'm going to expect it to refer to the country. If someone wants it to be pronounced like "chilly," they need to spell it in such a way that it can NOT be pronounced "chee-lay."
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Old 12-31-2018, 01:44 PM
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I often find myself reading things aloud to my wife. If I come across a word that will be pronounced "chee-lay," I'm going to expect it to refer to the country. If someone wants it to be pronounced like "chilly," they need to spell it in such a way that it can NOT be pronounced "chee-lay."
No, they don't, but that's outside the scope of this thread. (Besides, "chilly" is the common pronunciation for the country in US English, at least, and the first listed in all the dictionaries I checked; and it's closer to "chill-eh" not "chil-ay" in Spanish. But, anyhow, back to our regularly scheduled thread.)

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Old 12-31-2018, 01:45 PM
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5) "Chile" is the name of a country in South America. There is a category of spices/capsacin-laden fruits known as "chilis."
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I'm not sure what that has to do with the topic, or my post...
Oh, that's right; you didn't read the article in the link.

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Old 12-31-2018, 01:48 PM
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No, they don't, but that's outside the scope of this thread. (Besides, "chilly" is the common pronunciation for the country in US English, at least, and the first listed in all the dictionaries I checked; and it's closer to "chill-eh" not "chil-ay" in Spanish. But, anyhow, back to our regularly scheduled thread.)
Note to self: Remember that you are sharing the planet with people who are often wrong about things.
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Old 12-31-2018, 01:49 PM
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Note to self: Remember that you are sharing the planet with people who are often wrong about things.
Indeed.
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Old 12-31-2018, 01:55 PM
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Thailand also has a fairly popular dish called "American fried rice." It was invented during the Vietnam War by a Thai cook serving the US base in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand. Fried rice with little Vienna sausages and an egg and other stuff thrown in, apparently trying to make the servicemen feel more at home. But that origin has largely been forgotten, and just about all Thais think Americans really do eat that regularly. It's actually not bad.
That sounds pretty good, actually.

(Many years back, I was staying at an Israeli hotel that had international-themed dinners. American Food Night featured... some sort of shepherd pie thing).
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Old 12-31-2018, 01:55 PM
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Y'know, on thinking about it a bit more: There are Chinese foods which are breaded and deep fried, and there are onions in Chinese food, too. With all of the variety of cuisine that you'll find across China, I'd be kind of surprised if there weren't anywhere that serves deep-fried breaded onion slices. It's not a complicated dish.
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Old 12-31-2018, 01:57 PM
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Oh, and
[Moderating]
Let's drop the hijack on the spelling and/or pronunciation of South American countries, capsicums, and/or dishes made from them. It's getting heated, and it's irrelevant to the topic of the thread.
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Old 12-31-2018, 01:59 PM
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That sounds pretty good, actually.
A somewhat similar blend of cultures can be found in Korean cuisine called budae jjigae, which developed, from my understanding, from using leftover food at American army bases post-Korean War. So it can have stuff like spam, hot dogs, baked beans, etc., whatever proteins can be scavenged up and used in a stew. It is quite tasty. ETA: An, of course, you also have Spam musubi, but that's Hawaii, so not quite counting as Asia.

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Old 12-31-2018, 02:02 PM
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Eh, it works both ways. Those of us who travel have experienced perfectly dreadful "authentic" American, British, Mexican etc. food in other countries.
[bolding mine]

Must... not... make obvious joke.... even if I am British therefore allowed....

*ahem*

He might well have a point that Americanised Chinese food isn't authentic (I dunno- UK Chinese food is different again, from what I can tell), but there's a way to say that that isn't just crapping on others.

Like people have said, it's not as though the people, mostly Chinese immigrants, who opened Chinese restaurants cook the stuff they do because they can't do authentic Chinese food, it's because it's expensive or impractical to get the ingredients or it's just plain not as popular as the Americanised version.

Calling a whole bunch of other people's food 'horseshit' in an attempt to make his own place sound better just makes him sound like kind of a dick. I doubt he's tried every single Chinese restaurant in the US, despite lumping them all together, and I also doubt he'd be doing significantly better or more 'authentic' food with the same budget and situation most of the people he's criticising are working with.
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:10 PM
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Like people have said, it's not as though the people, mostly Chinese immigrants, who opened Chinese restaurants cook the stuff they do because they can't do authentic Chinese food, it's because it's expensive or impractical to get the ingredients or it's just plain not as popular as the Americanised version.
Exactly. You make do with the local ingredients and tastes, and you create an extension of your cuisine. I look at Chinese-American and Italian-American foods as regional cuisines propogated by the ethnic diaspora abroad. So, in that sense, I think of them as an "authentic" arm of the source cuisine. So just like you have Sichuan and Hunan and Cantonese regions, I also thing of San Francisco and New York branches of Chinese cuisine, or even one large American region that is heavily influenced by Cantonese food, but modified to local ingredients and tastes.

That said, where I live, there's plenty of ethnic places where you can get food fairly close to cuisine as eaten in the home country, in addition to more localized variation on the ethnic cuisine.

Last edited by pulykamell; 12-31-2018 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:14 PM
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Here's the menu for his restaurant:
https://luckycricket.net/dinner/

Seems pretty similar to every other semi-upscale (as in one step above takeout Orange Chicken) Chinese restaurant out there. Also, it has pretty mediocre reviews, but not sure how many of those are just from review bombing after this came out.
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:14 PM
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I agree with your sentiments but just want to mention that of the many Asian restaurants I have been in I have never seen sandwiches, subs or onion rings. Wings are another story, they are a part of many Asian cuisines just like chicken feet.
I've seen Chinese restaurants with a little "American" section: a burger, chicken wings, fries and/or with a kid's section that has your hot dog and chicken nuggets. But it seemed an afterthought. Still, my Midwestern Chinese restaurant experience is largely limited to the two places near me that do delivery and a handful of other locations.

I did once duck into a dumpy little Chinese food joint in a residential part of Washington DC that also had a full on menu board of pizza, calzones, burgers, fried chicken, etc. I got actual (American) Chinese food which wasn't especially good. I think that's less because of the split menu and more because not every dumpy little restaurant is a charming find; often they're just a dump.
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:19 PM
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Calling a whole bunch of other people's food 'horseshit' in an attempt to make his own place sound better just makes him sound like kind of a dick. I doubt he's tried every single Chinese restaurant in the US, despite lumping them all together, and I also doubt he'd be doing significantly better or more 'authentic' food with the same budget and situation most of the people he's criticising are working with.
This exactly. And consider Zimmern's restaurant is blending "Sichuan, Xiían, and Hong Kong cuisine" which are regions that happen to be about thousand miles apart (well Sichuan from Hong Kong anyway), so how 'authentic' is he really getting? Not even getting to the denigration of Chinese folk who own these restaurants who can't just waste money on hoping the folks in their community will embrace a more authentic East Asian cuisine (it reminds me of that Seinfeld episode when Jerry convinces Babu to make his restaurant Pakistani)
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:20 PM
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I think that's less because of the split menu and more because not every dumpy little restaurant is a charming find; often they're just a dump.
Most of the Chinese-American places by my house are marginal food-wise. Just gloppy messes of overly cornstarch-thickened sauces with little flavor to them. There are a number of places that do this style very well, with lively flavors and still keeping to the same ingredient list, but I have to drive a few miles down into the city to get to them. And don't even talk to me about the buffets. Just terrible. But it's like any other cuisine here: some restaurants are excellent, most are average, and some are truly terrible. But knocking all of them down as "horseshit" is just a stupid fucking thing to say, and he deserves to be smacked down for it.

Last edited by pulykamell; 12-31-2018 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:20 PM
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I lived in Indonesia and have spent a lot of time in Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines. They all have large Chinese communities and Chinese food there is melded with local cuisine.Singapore, in particular has amazing Chinese food that incorporates Indian and Middle Eastern flavors. The only people I hear worrying about “authentic” Chinese food are white Americans, and yeah a white celebrity chef telling Chinese restranteurs that they’re doing it wrong is pretty pretentious. News flash: the food in most restaraunts is pretty mediocre; it’s why Applebee’s is a thing.
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:38 PM
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Here's the menu for his restaurant:
https://luckycricket.net/dinner/

Seems pretty similar to every other semi-upscale (as in one step above takeout Orange Chicken) Chinese restaurant out there. Also, it has pretty mediocre reviews, but not sure how many of those are just from review bombing after this came out.
That's it? And even a nod to chicken and waffles on the menu?

That's a fairly standard and pedestrian menu. Maybe he wasn't thinking of Chicago when he said "Midwest," but my favorite Chinese place serves tendons, kidneys, pork intestine, frog, etc., in addition to more Americanized fare. His menu, to me, does not look any more "authentic" than the places he's bitching about. And it's fine. I'm sure his food is all right, but it is annoying to hear him put down businesses as "horseshit" because they cater to their clientele.

Now, I'm also sure his use of the word "horseshit" and the publicity that followed wasn't accidental. We live in a culture that feeds on forcefully stated opinions. If you want to be big, you have to cause controversy, and you have to make bold, "honest" statements. It's annoying as shit that an even-headed, tempered approach doesn't work with the public en mass. You have to be a bit of an arrogant a-hole to get attention.
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:50 PM
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Here's the menu for his restaurant:
https://luckycricket.net/dinner/
Thatís not.....terribly impressive.
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:56 PM
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That's a fairly standard and pedestrian menu. Maybe he wasn't thinking of Chicago when he said "Midwest," but my favorite Chinese place serves tendons, kidneys, pork intestine, frog, etc., in addition to more Americanized fare. His menu, to me, does not look any more "authentic" than the places he's bitching about. And it's fine. I'm sure his food is all right, but it is annoying to hear him put down businesses as "horseshit" because they cater to their clientele.
It feels more like he's shitting on the midwest more than he's shitting on Chinese food. His examples are duck and chile oil as examples of exotic cuisine. I found this restaurant literally across the street from his, serving duck:
http://www.yangtze.us/menu.htm
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Old 12-31-2018, 03:06 PM
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It feels more like he's shitting on the midwest more than he's shitting on Chinese food.
I got that sense, too, which particularly chuffs me, as well. One of my favorite Asian foods I got was out in Green Bay. I found a Hmong/Thai restaurant that had somekind of homemade Hmong sausage on the menu. It was a delicious ginger-spiked pork sausage, one of the most delicious sausages I've ever eaten. And the best part was, they were actually able to sell the uncooked product to me (vacuum sealed and made for retail sale. Turns out the family owns a farm where they make and market their own sausages. And they sold it to me a 5 pound bag at $15!!!)

I'd be willing to bet there are more "authentic" Asian restaurants in the Twin Cities, where Zimmern's restaurant is open. I found this recent article from the Star-Tribune that talks about it, and goes into what it means to be authentic and how menus are adjusted for local tastes, but also mentions that "most Chinese restaurants also carry a second menu with dishes from mainland China, served in the communal style Chinese patrons prefer."
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Old 12-31-2018, 03:12 PM
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While Chicago has lots of great Asian food, I admit that I’ve never had decent Chinese there. Thai, Vietnamese, yes.

When my daughter comes home from the U of C, she gets NYC Chinese takeout several times a week, and haunts her favorite places in both the Manhattan and Brooklyn Chinatowns. With an occasional trip out to Flushing, Queens.
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Last edited by Ukulele Ike; 12-31-2018 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 12-31-2018, 03:15 PM
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There is an Asian grocery store here with what seems to be frozen insects. They resemble trilobites. I wonder how they are used in cooking.
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Old 12-31-2018, 03:16 PM
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Dried tiny shrimp?

They are great for infusing chicken broth for homemade egg drop soup. There’s a wonderful recipe on The NY Times cooking app.
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  #50  
Old 12-31-2018, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike View Post
While Chicago has lots of great Asian food, I admit that I’ve never had decent Chinese there. Thai, Vietnamese, yes.

When my daughter comes home from the U of C, she gets NYC Chinese takeout several times a week, and haunts her favorite places in both the Manhattan and Brooklyn Chinatowns. With an occasional trip out to Flushing, Queens.
I don't think we have NYC style Chinese here. But I've loved many of the Sichuan and even plain ol' Cantonese places I've found here. And I'm a sucker for hand-pulled noodles. One of my absolute favorite dishes, which I've never seen anywhere else, was certainly not authentic because of its inclusion of butter, but there was a restaurant called Double Li here which did the usual Sichuan style dishes. However, they also had this black pepper beef dish which was divine. There's a video of it being made here. Basically, marinated beef, garlic, oyster sauce, and butter. It's that butter and black pepper mixed with oyster sauce and the tons of garlic and hint of ginger from the beef marinade that made it delightful. I'll have to try recreating that dish one day.

Last edited by pulykamell; 12-31-2018 at 03:24 PM.
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